I have been wanting to adapt a cinnamon bun recipe for a while, but I couldn't find one worth the trouble...
Until I remembered my mom used to make cinnamon buns all the time for my brother's early morning hockey practices—she was a very popular lady. Her recipe is from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook, chosen for its use of potato in the dough, which makes it so soft and delicious.
I struggled a bit with this recipe...things that need to be rolled seem to be my Achilles heel, like those blasted pinwheel cookies from Christmas. Anyways, it was totally worth. Dad said this is his favourite thing I've baked so far, and I have to agree...the dough is so light and chewy.
For obvious reasons, the filling is not your traditional filling, and Dad says it looks like dog poop, but it is seriously good...don't judge it by it's appearance.
I had a few more tast testers than normal for this recipe. I made these buns for a tea party I had on Monday with a couple of friends, and fellow bloggers, Katie and Calla. They were my excuse to try and solidify the recipe, after my first attempt...and slight failure. Now I am confident in the recipe, so here it is...
Don't be daunted by the length of this recipe, it's really not that difficult, just a lot of steps, and they're worth it. I baked by weight, but will include volume. I also added pictures for parts I thought might be a bit confusing.
(this recipe makes a lot of cinnamon buns...my guess is about 24 large buns; adapted from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook)
- 215 grams (1 cup) whipped potatoes
- 1 cup potato water
- 180 grams (3/4 cup) butter, softened
- 24 grams (1 Tbs) fine sea salt
- 60 grams (3 Tbs) honey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup 110F water (for yeast)
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk (I used skim)
- 10 grams (1 Tbs) gluten flour
- 570 grams (about 4 cups) whole wheat bread flour*
- 430 grams (about 2 cups) whole wheat flour*
*These are both "about" measurements—the dough is meant to be sticky, but still manageable, so add a bit more/less as you see fit. However, remember you will be flouring your rolling pin and surface and you don't want them to be dry.
- 520 grams (28) soft Medjool dates, soaked
- date water
- 80 grams (4 Tbs) maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- juice of a lemon
- 160 grams (1 cup) raisins (optional)
1. Prepare whipped potatoes:
- Peel and chop potatoes
- Place in a saucepan and add enough water to cover, plus an inch. Add a pinch of salt.
- Boil until potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving a cup of the liquid for the dough.
- Using a hand mixer, whip potatoes until smooth and all lumps are gone.
2. Add yeast to honey and 110F water. Stir gently and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, combine potatoes and potato water with hand mixer. Add butter and blend well.
4. Once yeast has bloomed (about 10 minutes), stir into potato mixture.
5. Add milk and flour alternatively until you get a bread-like consistency (it should be slightly sticky, but you should be able to knead and roll it). Let the dough rest for about ten minutes, or longer if you can, to allow whole wheat flour to absorb liquid.
6. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it's smooth and elastic. Place in a floured bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size—at least an hour.
7. Meanwhile, prepare your filling:
- Soak your dates until soft.
- In a food processor, blend dates, maple syrup, lemon, salt and vanilla, adding date water until they form a smooth paste.
- Scoop into a bowl and fold in raisins.
- Store in refrigerator until needed.
8. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide your dough in two. Plop it onto a floured surface and roll it out. Spread your filling, as evenly as possible.
9. Roll the dough lengthwise and pinch the seam to seal it.
10. Slice and place (you might need to "scoop" them to make sure the filling doesn't fall out) buns in a large casserole dish or cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper (they will rise and spread, so keep that in mind). Cover with a damp towel and let rise for another 30 minutes, or until they have risen again.
12. These are best served fresh, but will keep for a couple of days.
Happy Belated Easter!